5) Marquette 57, 13) St. John's 55
11) Cincinnati 69, 6) Louisville 66
7) Notre Dame 68, 10) Seton Hall 56
8) Georgetown 69, 9) South Florida 49
GAME OF THE DAY
We probably should just go ahead and hand this award to whichever game Marquette is playing in for the rest of the tournament.
An amazing 12 of the Golden Eagles' 19 games against Big East opponents have been decided by three points or less. Twelve one-possession games out of 19. That's unreal.
After suffering close defeat after close defeat in the early part of the season, Marquette has now won six of the last seven games decided by a possession, including yesterday's second round Big East Tournament triumph over de facto host St. John's.
"We were 2-5, and since that time we've been in one- and two-possession games," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "... Everything has changed. The whole deal is this, our margin of error has never changed. The games that we lost, the lessons we learned, are just as important as the games we won by one or two possessions as well."
Spurred on by the New York crowd, the Red Storm, ahem, stormed back from a 14-point first half deficit to take a 53-52 lead with a little over two minutes to play. But David "Call Me Daveed" Cubillan's three-pointer with 1:11 to play gave Marquette a 55-53 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
The Golden Eagles move on to face No. 4 Villanova, a squad that twice beat them by two points in early January. St. John's, conversely, moves into an offseason that will - at least early on - be dominated by talk of head coach Norm Roberts' future.
TEAM OF THE DAY
In one performance Notre Dame silenced both those who feel they don't belong in the NCAA Tournament and those who feel they're better off without Luke Harangody.
Behind 'Gody's 20 points and 10 rebounds, the Irish dominated a desperate Seton Hall team from start-to-finish. Though Notre Dame's teams in the Mike Brey era have been mostly defined by their offense, this squad has played its way into the field of 65 with its defense. The latest evidence of the shift in philosophy came last night as the Pirates, who had dropped 109 in their tournament opener, managed just 56 points.
"We prided ourselves on being one of the leading scoring teams - a real fun team to watch when we're running and firing," Brey said of his old Notre Dame teams. "Those days are over. We had to do something different. We couldn't run it up and down the floor anymore."
The Fighting Irish will play second-seeded Pitt at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.
DUD OF THE DAY
Louisville continued its quest to refuse any and all possible momentum by following its emotional victory over No. 1 Syracuse up with a lackluster loss to 11-seed Cincinnati.
The Cardinals led by nine at the half but were outhustled, out-scrapped and out-rebounded in the second 20 minutes and fell in their tournament opener for the third time in five years. U of L was outrebounded 28-9 on the offensive glass and 54-33 overall.
STARS OF THE DAY
--Luke Harangody (Notre Dame) - 20 points, 10 rebounds
--Edgar Sosa (Louisville) - 28 points
--Lazar Hawyward (Marquette) - 20 points, 9 rebounds
--Dominique Jones (South Florida) - 21 points
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We didn't rebound the ball, so we go home early and waste a lot of boosters' money." --Rick Pitino
THE DAY AHEAD
Ladies and gentlemen, your top seeds:
#1 Syracuse vs. #8 Georgetown (Noon)
#4 Villanova vs. #5 Marquette (2pm)
#2 Pittsburgh vs. #7 Notre Dame (7pm)
#3 West Virginia vs. #11 Cincinnati (9pm)